The vast Inca citadel of Machu Picchu comes up to all dreams. It is blanketed in mist and encircled by lush greenery and towering sheer cliffs.
It is the most famous archaeological site on the continent and one of the top places to visit in Peru. It has been etched into our collective psyche, like the Louvre, or the Taj Mahal, however nothing can reduce the exhilaration of being here.
This magnificent old city was never exposed to the Spanish colonists and remained largely unknown until the early twentieth century.
Contrary to popular perception, the best time to visit Machu Picchu or trek the Inca Trail is before and after the rainy season. However, the dry season months of June, July, and August are still excellent, but be prepared for crowds.
During the buffer months, Machu Picchu and the hiking routes leading to this wonderful site are substantially less crowded, and the weather conditions are generally favorable, making it the greatest time to climb Machu Picchu. A few clouds and rain showers here and there provide the ideal photo opportunity.
- Best season for Machu Picchu
- Rainy season in Machu Picchu
- Dry season in Machu Picchu
- High season in Machu Picchu
- Shoulder season in Machu Picchu
- 1. January heralds the Catastrophic landslides Every year
- 2. Do not Plan Machu Picchu for February
- 3. The last Tweeks in March are Suitable for Trekking!
- 4. The Most Eclectic time to visit Inca Metropolis is April
- 5. May Herald the Arrival of Tourists!
- 6. The High Season of June Brings Festivities and Crowds
- 7. Huge Crowds, Long Nights Galore in July
- 8. Expects winters and overcrowd in August
- 9. September Witness Low Crowd and Soaring Temperature
- 10. In October Expect Lesser crowd, great views, and Pleasant Weather
- 11. November Marks the Advent of Showers and Lesser Crowds
- 12. It’s Looming Rain Clouds and Fewer People in December
Best season for Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu, located deep within the Andes, is a year-round tourist destination. That means you can organize a visit to the place regardless of when you will be in Peru. Of course, the best time of the year to visit Machu Picchu relies on a variety of things, including the weather, the amount of people you’re ready to cope with, and how you want to get there.
Rainy season in Machu Picchu
The rainy season in Peru lasts from November to April, bringing gloomy clouds, heavy rain showers, and the rare storm. In fact, it rains practically every day during this time period, which keeps crowds to a minimum. A visit to Machu Picchu this time of the year makes a rather damp event. However, the rainy season also offers the warmest temperatures, so circumstances are normally acceptable when the rain isn’t falling.
Keep in mind that the rainiest months are January through March, so keep that in mind when you plan your trip.
Dry season in Machu Picchu
The dry season in Peru typically lasts from April to October, with cold weather, vivid blue skies, and lots of sunshine. This is the best time to travel to Machu Picchu as a result of the better weather. However, cooler temperatures are also a feature of the dry season, particularly in the early morning and late evening. Rain showers are also possible, as are heavy afternoon mists.
High season in Machu Picchu
July and August are the busiest months for visitors to Machu Picchu. These months are in the middle of the dry season and offer the most consistent and best weather for Machu Picchu. Of course, that is precisely why most people visit the mountain castle around that time of year. You may witness the greatest crowds this time of the year.
If you don’t want to deal with crowds, avoid visiting during these months. However, if your primary goal is to maximise your chances of nice weather, this is the time to arrange your vacation. Just be prepared to wait in line and share space with many others.
Shoulder season in Machu Picchu
The best time to visit Machu Picchu Peru is during the so-called shoulder season. This time of the year there is a fair possibility of dry weather and less visitors. The shoulder months for Machu Picchu are May, June, September, and October. During those months, the likelihood of rain is low, and crowds are not as dense as they are during the peak season.
Shoulder season is a solid bet for those wishing to maximise their time in Machu Picchu while still giving themselves the best chance of pleasant weather. There’s a good chance you’ll avoid rain and the place won’t be entirely crowded.
Month-by-month analysis of the weather and activities in Machu Picchu
1. January heralds the Catastrophic landslides Every year
In January, the weather in Machu Picchu and the Andean mountains of Cusco is rainy. Historically, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu has been plagued by landslides for a month. You may still take the train to Machu Picchu in January, but hiking is not recommended.
Please be aware that the trails leading to the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountains are extremely slick. The risk of rock collapse is always present, and the possibilities of enjoying the spectacular views are slim.
In January, temperatures in Machu Picchu range from 27 degrees Celsius/80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day to 17 degrees Celsius/63 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
Key events & festivals – El Sinkuy, Bajada de los Reyes, Chiaraje, and Festival of San Sebastian.
2. Do not Plan Machu Picchu for February
The weather at Machu Picchu in February makes it the worst month to visit. The rains are unpleasant throughout this month, especially in regions like the cloud forest where Machu Picchu is located.
The possibility of becoming stranded in Aguas Calientes due to landslides blocking the train tracks or the Urubamba River overflowing is a continual threat.
During February, the National Sanctuary of Machu Picchu closes the Inca Trail to carry out a cleaning operation, replace bridges, and recondition campgrounds and restrooms.
Torrential rains also create heavy clouds that obscure visibility. Bridges, ladders, and trails all turn slick and muddy and is definitely not the best time to travel to Machu Picchu.
Things get a little dicey when one plans to ascend the Machu Picchu or Huayna Picchu mountains.
Temperatures in Machu Picchu in February range from 28 C/82 F during the day to 18 C/65 F at night.
Key events & festivals – Virgen de Copacabana, Virgen de la Candelaria, Carnaval, and Dia de Compadres.
3. The last Tweeks in March are Suitable for Trekking!
We advise you to reserve your spot on any of the Machu Picchu hiking trips, including the Inca Trail, during the last two weeks of March. With the rains decreasing, the weather at Machu Picchu improves significantly in March. The stunning views are resurfacing, providing tourists with the best photo opportunities in the Andes.
In March, the temperature in Machu Picchu ranges between 27 C/81 F during the day and 17 C/64 F at night.
Key events & festivals – Lord of the Earthquakes
4. The Most Eclectic time to visit Inca Metropolis is April
The mix of warmer weather, less tourists, and breathtaking views makes April one of the best months to visit Machu Picchu. The weather in Machu Picchu in April is ideal for hiking the Inca Trail or any of the additional climbs.
In April, the temperature in Machu Picchu ranges between 22 C/77 F during the day and 14 C/61 F at night.
Key events & festivals – Semana Santa / Holy Week
5. May Herald the Arrival of Tourists!
The advent of the dry season in May heralds the arrival of sunny skies and stunning views of the freezing rain at Machu Picchu. It also heralds the influx of tourists, as shown by long lines at the bus terminal. To avoid the crowds, we recommend trekking other routes such as Huchuy Qosqo, the short Inca Trail, or Salkantay.
Due to the numerous traditional Andean religious celebrations that take place in May, visiting Cusco and Machu Picchu during that month is always rewarding The Qoilloritti pilgrimage and the Corpus Christi celebrations are the two must-see events.
Key events & festivals – Virgin of Chapi, Cruz Velacuy, Cusqueña Beer Festival, Pentecost Sunday, and Senor de Torrechayoc.
6. The High Season of June Brings Festivities and Crowds
When is the best time to visit Machu Picchu? It’s the beginning of the High Season. Thousands of people are expected to flood the city as the Winter Solstice celebrations begin. June is also the month of Cusco’s Anniversary. The streets are taken over with festivals, parades, and dancers. The most prominent event is the Inti Raymi Festival, in which Cusco residents reenact an ancient Incan religious festival.
Winter has arrived, and Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail are starting to experience a drop in temperature, especially before sunrise and after dusk.
Temperatures average between 20°C/58°F and 11°C/52°F. Expect frigid temperatures of -5°C/23°F at night and in the early mornings.
Despite the cooler temperatures, the vistas of the mountains and valleys are breathtaking, and at night, you can see the glorious Milky Way.
Key events & festivals – Señor de Qoyllur Rit’i, and Corpus Christi
7. Huge Crowds, Long Nights Galore in July
In July, winter is in full swing. The skies are clear, and the scenery, mountains, and stars are breathtaking.
In July, temperatures in Machu Picchu range from 19°C/66°F during the day to 10°C/50°F at night. Temperatures drop below freezing at night and in the early mornings. During the day, though, temperatures reach the high 70s, and the sun is fierce. Wear plenty of sunscreen and a sunhat.
Please Note: Nearly all tourist destinations are busy in July, including Machu Picchu. Long lines form to board buses to and from Machu Picchu. The demand for certain services is increasing, and train schedules are busy.
If you opt to visit Machu Picchu during the Peruvian holidays of July 27-28 (Peru’s independence day), expect to encounter bigger crowds than usual.
Key events & festivals – Virgen del Carmen, Tres Cruces, Corpus of Santiago, Corpus of San Ana, Fiestas Patrias, and Yawar Fiesta.
8. Expects winters and overcrowd in August
Because we are in the midst of winter, the weather in Machu Picchu in August is quite cold. You should bring the appropriate winter clothes.
The crowds aren’t going away because many people from the Northern Hemisphere are on summer vacation. On the hiking trails, expect long lineups and congestion. We recommend climbing Machu Picchu to avoid the crowds. This is the best time of year to go to Machu Picchu for its breathtaking scenery. We also propose the Salkantay Trek; you will not be disappointed!
In August, the temperature on the Inca Trail and in Machu Picchu is frigid, ranging between 20°C/68°F during the day to 12°C/54°F at night. Temperatures drop below freezing at night and in the early mornings.
Key events & festivals – Andean New Year, Corpus of San Cristobal, Virgen de la Asunción, and Santa Rosa de Lima Feast Day.
9. September Witness Low Crowd and Soaring Temperature
The dry season ends in September, and the rainy season begins. The first rains of September might come at any time, so be prepared with rain gear. The vistas are generally stunning, as are the photo opportunities of the mountains and valleys. With fewer visitors, this month provides a quieter and more serene walk and is the best time to see Machu Picchu.
Temperatures in Machu Picchu begin to rise again in September. They range from 21 C/70 F during the day to 12 C/54 F at night.
Key events & festivals – Corpus of Almudena, Qoylloriti, Virgen de Natividad, Señor de Huanca, Warachikuy, and Corpus of San Jeronimo.
10. In October Expect Lesser crowd, great views, and Pleasant Weather
October is considered one of the best month to visit Machu Picchu because there are fewer people hiking the paths and ascending the mountains. In several parts of the Sanctuary, one can sense silence and loneliness.
Temperatures in Machu Picchu in October range from 22 C/72 F during the day to 12 C/54 F at night, making it ideal hiking conditions.
If you happen to be in town at this time, we advise climbing Huayna Picchu Mountain. If luck favors you, you’ll have wonderful weather and a beautiful view!
Key events & festivals – Virgin of the Rosary, Señor Cautivo de Ayabaca, Señor de Luren Festival, Mes Morado, and Día de la Canción Criolla.
11. November Marks the Advent of Showers and Lesser Crowds
The weather in November heralds the start of the rainy season, although there is little rain except for a few scattered showers. The number of tourists continues to decline, and if you like less crowds, this is the month for you. And the views of the Alps are spectacular.
Temperatures in Machu Picchu in November range from 24 C/75 F during the day to 13 C/54 F at night.
If you are visiting at this period, we recommend climbing Huayna Picchu Mountain. This is one of the best months to visit Machu Picchu to experience wonderful weather and great views!
Key events & festivals – All Saints Day (Todos Santos, and Festival Del Lechon
12. It’s Looming Rain Clouds and Fewer People in December
With the overhanging rain clouds, the weather in December is hit-or-miss, although there are a few days of sunshine. Fewer people come to Cusco to trek to Machu Picchu; instead, they come to spend their holidays in this Incan capital. During Christmas and New Year’s, the city is inundated with Peruvians and tourists.
In December, temperatures in Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail range from 26 C/79 F during the day to 16 C/61 F at night. Definitely the best time for Machu Picchu if you are going for a New Year bash!
Key events & festivals – Miska Raymi, Christmas Chocolatada, and Santuranticuy
It’s important to remember that Machu Picchu can be visited year round. The weather is generally warm, and the days are clear and sunny. But in terms of crowd management, July, August, and September have the heaviest flow of tourists. This is due to school summer holidays in North America and Europe, and this causes a major rush of interest to visit the site. The number of train tickets issued by Peru Rail spike dramatically during these months as well.
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